New Mexico Joins the Nationwide Movement to "Ban the Box"

by Chandler Armistead, and Jeffrey Mokotoff – FordHarrison

On April 3, 2019, New Mexico expanded the state’s “Ban the Box” law to include private employers. “Ban the Box” is a nationwide effort to eliminate the checkbox on employment applications inquiring into applicants’ criminal history. Over the last few years, thirty-four states have joined the movement to “Ban the Box.” Among these states, twelve – California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington – as well as the District of Columbia have passed Ban the Box laws for private employers. In a press release, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said “[i]t is our responsibility to ensure that we create a pathway for individuals to contribute to our economy and to our communities.” This seems to be the consensus among more than 150 cities which have also enacted their own version of Ban the Box laws.